Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Law & grace, an uneven match? (5)

Let's pick up where we stopped a week or so ago...

Treating others the way you want to be treated sums up the Law and the prophets, according to Jesus (Matthew 7:12). Such a lifestyle is the heart of the Law and the Prophets. When we live and act like that, we continue the works Jesus did when He was on earth. The fulfilling of the Law was not a one time event, it takes place on a daily basis. Grace has not taken the place of the Law, grace makes it possible for us to fulfill the Law. The apostle Paul knew this quite well and he explained it quite well.

I believe that his long, and sometimes difficult, writings about law and grace are being condensed into one sentence in Romans 13:10 (NKJV), Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Well, that is a quite clear statement, isn't it? If we say we are not able to, or have no reason to, fulfill the Law we are basically saying we are unable to love! Because LOVE is the fulfillment of the Law. Maybe you have never seen or heard it this way, but I would like to encourage you to ponder this thought and include it in your prayers.

Of course Paul clearly explains in Romans 3:21-31 that we can only be justified by grace through faith, not by works, not by keeping or obeying the Law. But that is not merely the end of a legalistic life, it is the beginning of a life lead by the Spirit. With the accepting and understanding of His grace we do not nullify the Law, we establish the Law. Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law (Romans 3:31).

So, we no longer use the Law to tell others what they can or cannot do (legalism), but we treat others the way we want to be treated (love). Our reference is not a written code, but the grace/love that has been poured out in our hearts. When we start living like this (following the leading of the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is LOVE) things will begin to change.

In the next blog post I will take a closer look at a few other statements from the apostle Paul.

Thank you for reading along, and please share these posts with someone who might need to hear this.

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